Discover luxury and boutique hotels in Port Vila
Brimming with palm-fringed beaches, bustling markets and traditional kastom culture, Vanuatu’s Port Vila on the island of Efate is a surf-swept capital with small-town seaside charm. There’s adventure to be found under the surface – explore the reefs on a snorkel safari, plunge into the terraced pools of the Mele Cascades, or dive the 17th-century Star of Russia shipwreck. Dry off beneath the fronds of the botanic gardens, then get stuck into the French cuisine – a memento from the country’s colonial past – washed down with a beer at a breezy beachfront bar.
When to go
Port Vila is balmy year-round; just watch out for the rain from November to March. High season runs from May to July, so be prepared for a bit more bustle if you visit then.
PlanesBauerfield International Airport is a handy seven kilometres from the city centre; direct flights from Australasian cities including Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney and Nadi in Fiji touch down here.
BoatsSpeed boats (or rather motorised dinghies) are available for charter or scheduled trips, and make a zippy way to zoom to between islands when the weather is fair – just double-check any boat you board is fully kitted out with lifejackets.
AutomobilesThe main roads of Port Vila teem with minibuses ready to be flagged down; they can take you (slowly) across town, or further afield to Hideaway Island or the Mele Cascades.